Canadian carriers Bell and Telus announced on Tuesday that each of them would not be continuing the use of Huawei equipment in their respective 5G networks, having signed deals with the Chinese giant’s rivals instead.
For Bell, it announced Ericsson would be supplying its radio access network. It added that it was looking to launch 5G services as the Canadian economy exited lockdown.
Bell, which in Febraury announced it had signed an agreement with Nokia, said it was maintaining the use of multiple vendors in its upcoming network, as it had for 4G.
“Ericsson plays an important role in enabling Bell’s award-winning LTE network and we’re pleased to grow our partnership into 5G mobile and fixed wireless technology,” said Bell chief technology officer Stephen Howe.
Meanwhile, the British Columbia-based Telus also chose to go with a combination of Ericsson and Nokia.
The company said it had spent CA$200 billion on its network since the turn of the century, and would part with a further CA$40 billion over the next three years to deploy its 5G network.
Both Bell and Telus had previously used Huawei equipment in their networks. In February, Telus told the Financial Post it would be using Huawei in its 5G network.
The third member of the Canadian major telco triumvirate — Rogers — said in January it would be using Ericsson equipment for its 5G rollout.
The decisions from Canada’s three major carriers now mean Huawei is increasingly isolated from 5G builds within the Five Eyes nations.
Huawei is also at the centre of the trade dispute between the United States and China, with Washington recently clamping down on Huawei’s semiconductor supply, with companies needing an export licence to sell to the Chinese giant.
Although not officially banned, Huawei has not made inroads in New Zealand after GCSB prevented Spark from using Huawei kit in November 2018.
Meanwhile in the United Kingdom, although it in January decided to limit the involvement of Huawei — restricting it to a 35% cap of all radio equipment and preventing the Chinese giant from supplying any equipment in the core of the network, as well as banning the use of Huawei equipment at sensitive locations such as nuclear sites and military bases — reports last month said that the decision would be reviewed.
Canada is also the centre of the furore involving the extradition of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, following her arrest in December 2018.
Last week, the British Columbia Supreme Court ruled the extradition could proceed. CBC reported that the presiding judge ruled that the fraud that Meng has been accused of would be a considered a crime in Canada, as well as the United States.
Meng, the daughter of Huawei’s founder, is currently on bail where she is required to stay confined to one of her two Vancouver homes between 11pm and 6am. In the United States, Meng currently faces an indictment for allegedly misrepresenting Huawei’s ownership and control of its Iranian affiliate, Skycom, to banks, which breached UN, US, and EU sanctions.
“Not only are their conditions terrible but they are cut off from any meaningful connection and at this time of pandemic they seem to be even more remote,” former Canadian ambassador to China David Mulroney told The Globe and Mail.
“It’s a hostage-taking and the ransom demand is Meng Wanzhou.”
Additional warning about Vancouver’s No5 Orange following possible exposure of COVID-19 – News1130
VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – An expanded COVID-19 notification has been issued by Vancouver Coastal Health after an additional person who tested positive for the virus visited the site.
Anyone who visited the Vancouver club on July 1, 3, 4 and 7 may have been exposed to the virus and is being advised to monitor themselves for any symptoms of the virus.
Expanded notification for exposure to COVID-19 at the No5 Orange strip club in Vancouver. Those who visited on July 1st, 3rd, 4th or 7th are being notified by @VCHhealthcare to self monitor!
— Bruce Claggett (@BruceClaggett) July 9, 2020
On Tuesday Vancouver Coastal Health had warned about a possible exposure on July 1st but has learned about another person who attended several other times who contracted the virus.
The lounge has been closed down by VCH to review its safety plan.
Fed's Bostic reportedly says U.S. recovery may be 'leveling off' – CNBC
Raphael Bostic, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Christopher Dilts | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Raphael Bostic said the U.S. economic recovery is in danger of stalling due to the recent spike in coronavirus cases across many American states.
High-frequency data had shown a “leveling off” of economic activity both in terms of business openings and mobility, he told the Financial Times newspaper in an interview published on Tuesday.
“There are a couple of things that we are seeing and some of them are troubling and might suggest that the trajectory of this recovery is going to be a bit bumpier than it might otherwise,” he told the newspaper.
“And so we’re watching this very closely, trying to understand exactly what’s happening.”
California, Texas and Florida are all among two dozen U.S. states reporting high infection rates as a percentage of diagnostic tests conducted over the past week, an alarming sign of a virus still spreading largely unchecked throughout much of the country.
The U.S. death toll from the virus has topped 130,000, Reuters calculations show.
Via Rail to lay off 1,000 employees amid coronavirus disruptions – Globalnews.ca
Amid ongoing travel restrictions and concerns about the novel coronavirus, Via Rail is planning 1,000 temporary layoffs, according to an internal email sent to employees on Wednesday afternoon by the railway company’s CEO Cynthia Garneau.
The announcement comes at a time when the national passenger rail company continues to experience service disruptions across most of its regional and national routes, including cancellation of all trains between Montreal and Halifax, and Toronto and Vancouver until at least the beginning of November.
Garneau explained in her email that members of Via Rail’s management could also be affected by layoffs.
The company has cited uncertainty about COVID-19 as a reason for offering reduced booking options on some routes until at least the end of this year.
In her email, Garneau noted that Via Rail had previously reduced and suspended services in March, based on a ridership decrease of more than 95 per cent, and that the company doesn’t anticipate ridership to rebound in the foreseeable future.
“We have had to make difficult decisions to deal with the situation as we gain a better understanding of the impacts of the pandemic on our operations,” she wrote.
Garneau also noted that the company has attempted to mitigate impacts of the pandemic on its workforce by allowing some to work full-time, part-time or to get paid at home while their work was suspended.
“Via Rail is now forced to reconsider its approach in order to further adjust to the increasing financial impacts this crisis has had on the company. Therefore we need to make TEMPORARY layoffs that could affect all types of employees,” she wrote.
“Some measures will also affect management and professional employees. A few scenarios are under consideration and we will get back to you quickly, no later than the end of July.”
She said that the company would be sending 1,000 layoff notices, after giving written notice to unionized employees with Unifor who could exercise displacement rights under their collective agreement.
Via Rail banks survival on high frequency rail project
Global News also obtained a copy of some “key messages” prepared for Via Rail management to deliver to the employees in order to give them notice of the layoffs.
In the suggested messages, management was advised to tell some employees that they would only be temporarily affected and receive 70 per cent of their usual salary “to ensure a rapid return to service even if there is no need for them to be called back to work immediately.”
Garneau’s email and the internal messages both indicated that the layoffs would come into effect on July 24, following a formal notice that is required under the company’s collective agreement with its union.
The news comes at a time when many Canadians are wondering how long job losses and high unemployment rates due to COVID-19 will continue. It also comes amid growing concerns about increased deficits and the government’s ability to provide financial stimulus in the future.
“Via Rail will continue to work on progressing its service resumption plan as the situation evolves with the goal of reintegrating its employees as soon as the customer demand allows it,” Garneau said in her email.
“Until then, your managers are there for you if you have any questions or concerns. We are going to go through this difficult period, and, once passed, I am confident that we will be in a position to reacquaint ourselves with growth and opportunities.”
Global News contacted Via Rail for comment. A spokesperson replied with a statement that confirmed the layoffs along with a summary of the company’s reasons for taking this action.
Via Rail is owned by Canadian taxpayers but operates at arms length from the federal government.
The office of Transport Minister Marc Garneau said in an email that the government would “continue to work with Via Rail to find solutions and support workers and their families in these unprecedented times.”
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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